Some woodpeckers are quite common in Ohio during the winter. Most likely, if you have suet out for the birds in winter you will often see red-bellied woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. Hairy are less common, but still frequently seen throughout the state of Ohio. Northern flickers are common also, and if you are lucky, you will se a red-headed woodpecker. Pileated woodpeckers are less common, however. Pileated woodpeckers are mainly southern birds, and are quite common in Tennesee and other southern states, and can be seen frequently all year round. Almost never seen in spring, summer, or fall, pileated woodpeckers that live in Ohio year-round are uncommon. In winter, however, they become more common. If you would check the eBird reports for Ohio in December 2012 through current ( January 3 2013), you will see that there have been quite a few reports of pileated woodpeckers in Ohio1. In March through November of 2012, however, the area of the sightings and the ammount of sightings goes down2.
Though they will somtimes be seen in Ohio year-round, they are still uncommon residents in Ohio. These birds are often heard more than seen, with their loud calls ringing through the forest. The easiest way to know if a pileated woodpecker is around is to listen; not to look. Do not think that seeing them in Ohio is rare, though. Though they are very common in most areas of Ohio in any season, they are still not unheard of in Ohio. In fact, I have been hearing a pileated woodpecker around for weeks, but have not yet seen it. Sources for the information listed above are included below.
Pileated Woodpecker Call